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Sustainability Up on the Roof

When most people think about sustainability at a company like Cisco, they envision solar arrays and smart cities – and we certainly have those! But humming quietly on the roof of every building is a significant energy consumer, the air conditioning.  So just as we innovate solutions for the Internet of Everything, we also search for ways to improve facility energy efficiency in many ways that aren’t obvious to building occupants.

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Cisco Takes Holistic Approach to Reducing Energy Use and Costs

Cisco’s EnergyOps team is tasked with reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency at our offices, labs, and data centers worldwide. Cisco’s labs are our largest consumer of energy and although we are putting a lot of effort into improving the efficiency of those environments, we’re finding great success in taking a more holistic approach that includes implementing efficiency opportunities within all of our building support systems such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), building controls, and lighting.

For example, in January 2014 we engaged in such a holistic energy efficiency effort at a number of our Shanghai facilities, which included three primary areas of improvement:

  • Computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit retrofits
  • Software upgrades for cooling equipment
  • Lighting upgrades for offices

In just 3 months, 5 buildings at our Shanghai location underwent energy efficiency upgrades in these areas that will generate approximately US$145,000 in savings per year.

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Cisco’s Other Production Data Center

If sibling rivalry exists among Data Centers, our Richardson, Texas facility must be jealous.  Unveiled in 2007 as Cisco’s next-generation Data Center and subsequently toured by thousands of visitors, the site hasn’t received much attention since its younger brother came online in 2011. Read More »

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2012 Year In Review

Two things I greatly enjoy about working in and around Data Centers are that so many different technologies converge within them and that those technologies are constantly evolving.  There’s always something new to explore.

It’s no surprise then that Data Center Deconstructed ping-ponged among several topics in 2012, from choosing a site to relocating servers to incorporating alternative energy, and more.  I even tried my hand at blogging in real-time, posting live from the annual Technology Convergence Conference.

Here’s are the Data Center Deconstructed topics that received the most attention this year.  Check out any you’ve missed: Read More »

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Location, Location, Data Center Location

I spent a recent weekend helping a friend load his belongings into a moving van, in preparation for relocating his family from California to Texas.  Sometime between lifting my end of a sofa and carrying boxes that apparently contained his collection of concrete blocks, we talked about his search for a new home.

Although there are certain amenities he would like his new house to have, the biggest influence on his choice of residence is the old real estate axiom location, location, location.  He has a child in preschool and a good job, so you can guess his priorities:  something near a highly rated school, not too far from work and where property values are apt to rise over time.

Location is a critical consideration for Data Centers, too, although for different reasons.  Read More »

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